Following on from Andy Rutlege’s excellent and common sense article : Calculating Hours – the Client Factors I thought I’d add a few of my thoughts on how to handle certain projects based on certain clients.
This comes from years of experience working with a variety of different sized companies and organisations, all of whom – as Andy discusses in his article – approach working with service providers, such as ourselves, in different ways. Firstly I would suggest you read Andy’s article before mine, he puts his points across in a such a way that I perhaps never could, not being a “writer” and all!
So. Read it? Good, isn’t it.
A point I would like to make is that sometimes it isn’t always possible to push a budget beyond its “normal” ceiling, based on the persona of the client. If you are in a position where you are busy and you can pick or choose a little, then – yeah – you can turn the work away if you feel it is going to be a lot more hassle than it should be, or cost it a lot higher than usual based on the ‘hassle’ factor.
Another solution is to keep the budget around the same as it would normally be, but whack a load of contingency time on to the deadline. This means that if the project goes a lot smoother than you have initially thought based on your analysis of ‘hassle’, then you hit the deadline at what is perceived by the client as “early” (even though, in theory, with everything going to plan, it may actually be on time or even a little late based on “normal circumstances”).
The client is happy, you are happy, you get paid, we all get laid.
Time stresses are my biggest pet hate when it comes to projects. Yes deadlines are essential, but it is unnecessary time constraints, forced by poor planning by either or both parties, that can ultimately cause the quality of your service and supplied product to suffer.
Of course, the best result is to increase your price, increase your design and development lead time, and also increase that contingency buffer time as well. If the client they say yay, then you might have a manageable and worthwhile project on your hands after all! It’s a game!